Dr Zoë Sadokierski is a Senior Lecturer in visual communication design, with a background in commercial book design. Her research investigates: book culture and publishing in the digital age; visual epistomology; climate change communication; diagrams as narrative devices.
Zoë has received multiple Australian Book Design Awards. She has spoken at events including the Sydney Writers’ Festival, The Wheeler Centre, The Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference, and The Emerging Writers’ Festival.
Among her recent projects is 'The Book of Days', which is an illustrated anthology of the Sydney Writers' Festival created live at the 2015 festival. Another project is the ‘Visible Library’, a 2013 partnership grant with the State Library of NSW exploring how design research could inspire people to think differently about the Library and its collection.
Zoë co-authored (with Dr Kate Sweetapple) a chapter in the Routledge Companion to Design Research, titled ‘Three methods for analysing written texts: Visual abstraction, focused data-mining and exploratory data-mining’ in 2014.
'Book on Demand', an exhibition of 12 books created by Zoë to test the possibilities and limits of current print-on-demand technology, was held in 2014.
Zoë runs a professional practice alongside her teaching. View her online folio at www.zoesadokierski.com.
She is a founding member and former preseident of the Australian Book Designers' Association.
Can supervise: YES
Hybrid books; publication design; digital publishing; illustration; illustrated books; future of print; materiality, text analysis and information visualisation; library archives as sites for design research; climate change communication; paratext, and; alternate forms of publishing academic research.
Visual Communication Design: publication design; artist's books; typography; reflective writing; critical practice, research through design, illustration.
Sadokierski, Z 2016, 'From Paratext to Primary Text: New opportunities for designers with print-on-demand publishing', Logos (Lithuania), vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 22-30.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper demonstrates how involving a designer from the start of a publishing project can shift the way books are conceived and produced. It references Gerard Genette's paratextual theory to explain how designers might transition from generating the material paratext for a book (cover and internal design/typesetting) to collaborating with writers on the development of the primary text (the content of the book). Using the print-on-demand book Analogue Bodies as a case study, the article describes how emerging digital communication, design, and production tools allow designers to collaborate with writers in more experimental ways.
Sadokierski, Z 2015, 'Memory Palace exhibition Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 18 June - 20 October 2013', Visual Communication, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 121-124.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In conventional literary fiction, effective typography recedes. Grey rectangles of justified type are so familiar they are essentially invisible on the page, allowing the reader to slip into the world of the book unimpeded by the activity of reading. This article explores ways some novelists use unconventional typography as a literary device, visually interrupting the reader to make a specific point. A range of typographic devices are shown to effect pace, point of view, tone of voice, characterization and to imply ephemeral documents within novels. These typographic devices are illustrated with examples from a collection of novels including Mark Z. Danielewskis House of Leaves (2000), Salvador Plascencias The People of Paper (2005), Joanthan Safran Foers Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) and Steven Halls The Raw Shark Texts (2007). The article aims to illustrate ways authors have experimented with typographic devices to literary effect, and to encourage more experimentation with word-image interplay as a storytelling device.
Sadokierski, ZA 2010, 'Book review: Leanne Shapton, Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Dooland and Harold Morris', Visual Communication, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 245-249.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A book review relating this publication to a larger publishing trend of contemporary adult fiction that uses illustrative elements as a narrative device.
Review of Stephen Hall's hybrid novel, The Raw Shark Texts, focusing on the integration of graphic devices - unusual typography, photographs, diagrams - into the narrative.
Book review and critique of the anthology 'Images: A Reader', commentary on the status of graphic devices in academic articles
Essay on the integration of graphic elements in contemporary novels
Sadokierski, ZA 2017, 'From Paratexts to Primary Texts: Shifting from a commercial to a research focused design practice' in Vaughan, L (ed), Practice-Based Design Research, Bloomsbury Academic, Great Britain.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The text is illustrated throughout with case study examples by authors who have set up, taught or undertaken practice-based design research, in a range of national and institutional contexts.
Sadokierski, ZA & Sweetapple, K 2015, 'Drawing Out: How designers analyse written texts in visual ways' in Rodgers, P & Yee, J (eds), The Routledge Companion to Design Research, Routledge, UK, pp. 248-261.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Within design discourse, much attention towards the written word is directed at typology – how words are arranged to visually communicate meaning. In this chapter, we consider the written word from a different perspective, revealing how designers analyse written texts for research and concept development. We describe three analytical methods we developed through our own practice and observed in the practice of other designers. We name these methods Visual Abstraction, Focused Data-mining and Exploratory Data-mining. Each method is supported by examples from our own work and the work of Stefanie Posavec and Sam Winston, who both describe analyzing written texts as part of their design process.
Sadokierski, Z 2019, 'Critical Journal / Contextual Portfolio: A framework for documenting and disseminating RtD as scholarly research', Proceedings of RTD2019: Method and Critique, RTD 2019: Method and Critique, Delft, The Netherlands.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper presents a two-part framework for docu-menting and disseminating RtD as a scholarly activity, intended primarily for designers new to scholarly research and students developing Research through Design (RtD) as a mode of inquiry. The first part of the framework provides guidelines for documenting RtD through a Critical Journaling practice, which empha-sises chronologically capturing and reflecting on: contextual research, self and peer critique, and regu-lar 'overview maps', alongside iterative design pro-cesses. The second part argues for disseminating RtD projects through Contextual Portfolios, which situate design artefacts alongside key insights from primary research, innovative design processes, and self and peer critique, in order to explicitly frame contribu-tions to scholarly knowledge. The framework is demonstrated using an ongoing RtD project 'End-game'; I show how 'research data' drawn from my Critical Journaling practice is used to produce Con-textual Portfolios, in order to present the research in different contexts. The paper concludes by highlight-ing the challenges of demonstrating scholarly rigour underpinning RtD that is 'equivalent' to traditional scholarly publications and suggests 'open access peer review' and an RtD community publishing model, supported by university presses.
Sadokierski, ZA & Sweetapple, K 2013, 'The Book Spotter's Guide to Avian Titled Literature', Praxis + Poetics: Research Through Design, 2013 Conference Proceedings, Praxis + Poetics: Research Through Design Conference, Northumbria University, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK, pp. 39-42.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In order to remain relevant in the digital age, physical libraries have to strengthen their position as social and cultural spaces. They need to find ways to challenge existing users perceptions of the collections and how they are accessed and presented. In an attempt to engage with these challenges, the University of Technology Sydney Library redesigned its visual identity and interior spaces, and commissioned us to create an installation in the central stairwell. From our initial research we formed the following question: how can we design a creative work (installation) that suggests the library is a space for play and discovery? This paper reports a practice-based research project with two intrinsically linked outcomes:1. An installation: `Avian Titled Literature'; 2. A hybrid exegesis: `Field Guide to Avian Titled Literature'. The project is the first iteration of a larger, ongoing research project investigating ways visual communication design could encourage serendipitous discovery, browsing and more playful engagement within libraries.
Sadokierski, ZA & Sweetapple, K 2012, 'Drawing Out: How designers analyse written texts in visual ways', Proceedings of the Design Research Society 2012: Bangkok, Design Research Society (UK) International Conference, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 1646-1659.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper discusses the methods practitioner-Âresearchers use to analyse written texts. Much attention towards the written word in design discourse is directed at typography - how words are used visually to communicate meaning. This paper considers the written word from a different perspective. Here, we aim to reveal how designers analyse written texts for research and ideation. We describe a range of methods we have developed through our own research and practice, as well as analytical approaches other practitioner-Âresearchers use. There are many approaches to the analysis of texts - for example, semiotic (Kress and van Leeuwen 2001, 2006), content (Krippendorff 2004), discourse (Gee 1999) and more recently visual methods (Rose 2007). However, we are specifically interested in the methods designers use to draw out ideas, understanding and inspiration from written texts - a focus that is not directly addressed by any of these existing approaches. Importantly, many of the methods we describe here are widely used in design practice, but are not acknowledged or reported to be useful in a research context. Therefore, it is valuable to reframe these practice-Âbased methods within a research context and claim their scholarly contribution. In this paper, we describe three approaches to analysing written texts, which we have named Visual Abstraction, Focused Data-Âmining and Exploratory Data-Âmining. Each approach is supported with examples and anecdotes by practitioner-Âresearchers;; ourselves and others. Examining our own work allows us to trace initial text analysis through to final design/research outcomes, illustrated with examples from the entire process. To conclude, we discuss why these methods are a meaningful contribution to design scholarship.
Sadokierski, ZA 2011, 'Cover Versions', Reading Matters, Reading Matters, Discussing my design practice, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.
Reading Matters is Australia's premier children's and youth literature event. It explores issues and ideas for readers and writers. The conference was attended by 300+ readers from libraries, schools, bookshops and the publishing industry.
Sadokierski, ZA & Dorst, K 2011, 'Using design thinking an an analytical research tool', Doctoral Education in Design Conference: Pre-Conference Proceedings, Doctoral Education in Design Conference, DEDC, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The extended abstract of a joint research paper between Professor Kees Dorst and myself, discussing how I used design thinking in my doctoral research: The boundaries of Design scholarship are still sketchy, but this area is increasingly recognised as a distinct and important discipline. To qualify as an academic discipline, the differences between what constitutes design practice and design research need to be clarified. We need to be clear that not all design practice is design research, even though much design practice involves various types of research. Terms such as 'research for design', 'research by design', 'research through design' and 'practice as research' attempt to describe different activities that may make up the field of design research. These terms have proved to be deeply problematic in their claim to being scholarly research. We have found that there is a different way in which practice and research can be linked, that largely bypasses these debated terms and creates great opportunities for professional practice and design scholarship to progress and learn from one another. In this approach, elements of design practice are used within an analytical rather than a productive setting. This paper presents an approach to design research that considers how 'distinct knowledge' from design practice can inform and expand design scholarship. It proposes metaphors of 'the good eye' and 'the curious eye' to help describe the difference between design practice and design research. Zoe Sadokierski's 2010 doctoral thesis - 'Visual Writing: A critique of graphic devices in hybrid novels' - shows how language and analytical tools from design practice can be successfully adapted for scholarly research, turning a 'good eye' into a 'curious eye'.
Sadokierski, ZA 2010, 'Origin Stories', Drawing Out, Drawing In: Spotlight on Graphic Novels, Drawing OUt, Drawing In: Spotlight on Graphic Novels, The Wheeler Centre, The Wheeler Centre, The State Library of Victoria.
I spoke on two panels at this ticketed conference on Graphic Novels, organised by The Wheeler Centre. I spoke on the 'Origin Stories' panel, in my capacity as a publication designer, and on the 'Australia 2050: The Future of the Graphic Novel' in my capacity as an academic. Both panels required me to have a visual presentation and prepared talk, before going into question and answer mode.
Sadokierski, ZA 2006, 'What could a design PhD look like?', In Form Symposium, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
A one day symposium, co-hosted by the UTS School of Design in association with the Powerhouse Museum and IDEA (interior design/interior architecture educators association), as part of Sydney Design 2006 (a week-long festival of exhibitions and events that focus on design). My 20 minute presentation discussed how I defined 'practice-led research' through my doctoral research. This is an emergent approach to research for design, and public conversations about different definitions and approaches are essential.
Sadokierski, Z 2019, 'Endgame Part 1: Possible Cost of Complacency', RTD2019: Rooms of Interest, Science Centre, Delft (The Netherlands).
How can we engage an audience more deeply in the making of a textile? This paper will explore the materiality of film as an exploratory textile site, a moving surface through which a maker can disseminate practice based research. It will base its discussion on a seven-minute film titled Drawn Threads which documents the creation of a lace installation commissioned for the 14th International Triennial of Tapestry, Museum Central de Textile in Lódź, Poland 2013. The film moves through a vocabulary of surfaces, the ephemerality of an Australian beachscape transforms into a haptic stitching process transitioning to a final site of transformation, Museum Central. The film evolved out of an interdisciplinary collaboration with design researcher Dr Zoe Sadokierski and funded by the University of Technology Sydney Library. The filming process privileges the maker the authority of interpretation, to share 'slow looking' and make connections between sets of relationships. Demonstrating how lace structures can serve to illuminate embodied relationships between textiles and place contributes to the cultural agency of the craft. In this instance, the construction of a dissolving lace surface can be regarded as a site for the projection of our collective experience of movement and migration.
Monin, ML & Lorange, A 2015, 'The Living Index', The Book of Days: An illustrated anthology from the 2015 Sydney Writers' Festival, Bookwork Press, Sydney, pp. 132-141.
Sadokierski, ZA, Warriner, G & Dinallo, A 2015, 'Memory Makes Us (print edition)', Designer/researcher, Decatur Book Festival. Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
From 2013 – 2014, if:book conducted the Memory Makes Us live writing event at writers festivals in Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne and Perth.
Twelve writers created new work live, using as their inspiration the memories contributed by the audience. The writing that emerged is beautiful, funny, sad, and surreal.
Creating a print edition of the project presented us with a challenge. Like all memories, the pieces that make up Memory Makes Us are ephemeral and must eventually fade away. So, Memory Makes Us is published to newsprint. The tabloid size of the book also provided us with a much larger canvas than the typical book so we asked designers Zoe Sadokierski, Gemma Warriner, and Alissa Dinallo to take a cue from the content and the process and create a book that makes full use of its space on the page and that reflects the fragmented nature of memory itself in surprising and playful ways.
Sadokierski, ZA 2015, 'Lace Narratives: A monograph', Editor, designer, publisher, MediaObject / UTS ePress.
'Lace Narratives' is an illustrated monograph of textile artist Cecilia Heffer's work. It an experimental publication model, conceived by Zoë Sadokierski for the MediaObject book series and produced with support from the UTS Library and UTS ePress. The publication is composed of a digital edition of the book, along with a seven-minute video documenting Heffer creating the lacework Drawn Threads. A print-on-demand edition of the book is available to purchase. Additionally, a limited edition artist's book with lace samples bound into the pages will be publicly available through selected libraries and museums, including the UTS Library.
Through these different components, the audience can watch Cecilia's lace-making innovations in the documentary video, read critical reflections on her research and creative process, and handle lace samples. Sadokierski has designed this combination of media objects to afford a holistic understanding of Cecilia's practice-led research and material output.
'Drawn Threads' is a contemporary lace installation by textile artist Cecilia Heffer, created for the 14th International Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland in 2013. This video follows Cecilia's creative process as she explores ways to convey ephemeral light and shadow experienced in the Australian landscape through lace-making. The video is part of 'Lace Narratives: A monograph 2005 – 2015', a hybrid publication documenting Cecilia's practice-led research, produced by Zoë Sadokierski for the MediaObject book series, distributed by UTS ePRESS.
Sadokierski, ZA 2014, 'MediaObject book series', Designer/researcher, MediaObject / UTS ePress.
MediaObject is a book series that is focused on publications from researchers and artists exploring and documenting practice based projects which are not based primarily in text. Each book in the series may contain multimodal content in the form of images, video, audio, network media, software applications or other media.
The editors recognise the long creative history of the hybrid poetic essay as a research modality in the arts and the relation it has to the literary essay as a sustained discursive meditation on a series of interlinked ideas. This sits alongside a recognition of the role of experimentation with the languages of media in the development of new modes of communication and new ideas. Necessarily then MediaObject is interested in experiments in form both in book publishing and in an expanded idea of the possibilities of both the academic monograph and the artist book.
Books in the series may also be published in concert with exhibitions, screenings, seminars and performances that relate to specific publications.
MediaObject is a collaboration between the Centre for Media Arts Innovation and Page Screen Studio, it is published by UTS ePress. The editorial executive is Chris Caines and Zoe Sadokierski.
The series is peer reviewed as per section 4.3.4 of the Australian HERDC Specifications.
A collaboration between writer Tom Lee and writer/designer Zoë Sadokierski, documented over ten months and visualised as a series of published books, artist's books and lectures.
Sadokierski, ZA 2013, 'The Public Life of Monkeys', The Public Life of Monkeys, Wedge Gallery, Wedge Gallery.
Through my doctoral research, I explained ways materiality and mark-making techniques can affect a viewer's interpretation of images. This project investigates materiality and mark-making from a different perspective: rather than looking at the final image, I consider the way these illustrative tools can effect the image-making process itself, using my own creative practice as a site of research. To do so, I created a series of images depicting Japanese snow monkeys, with specific material and mark-making constraints, with the intention of observing and reflecting on how these constraints affected my creative process. The theme is largely irrelevant; a trip to Japan afforded an opportunity to collect ephemera (brochures, postcards, chopstick wrappers) that was `authentic' to an unfamiliar place, carrying a trace of the place through material and graphic qualities. I used authentic ephemera collected in Japan to create a series of 7 collages depicting the snow monkeys. I also produced a series of drawing/watercolour experiments mimicking the line work used by Japanese sumi-e painters, to evoke a sense of place, based on mimicking a graphic style associated with that place. Three limited edition artist books present over 5,000 words of written text and photographs describing the journey to Japan and the creative process behind the creative works inspired by the trip. Two of these books are to be featured in Charlotte Rivers' 'Little Book of Books' forthcoming (2014) from publisher Rotovision. I also gave two artist's talks: at the gallery space, including a demonstration of Japanese stab-binding, and an hour lecture hosted by the DABLAB (UTS), discussing the relationship between this and previous research into illustration and materiality.
'Words from the First Walk' explores three different perspectives of the same walk at 'Coorah', a sixth generation family farm in central west New South Wales. Poet and essayist Tom Lee, whose ancestor William Lee first arrived in the district in 1818, led the walk. His writing about contemporary Australians' relationship to the land has been published in Environmental Humanities, Rabbit, Overland Magazine and Southernly Journal. Two of Tom's essays about Coorah are presented in the catalogue. Zoë Sadokierski is a designer and researcher. In this exhibition, her collages, etchings, drawings and books respond to a passage from Murray Bail's novel Eucalyptus which links paragraphs to paddocks, and publishing to farming. These works are a form of text analysis, through design practice. Photographer and researcher Jacqueline Lorber-Kasunic builds on her doctoral thesis `Receding visions of pastoral idyll: An ethnographic and photographic study of marginal farming in the Maranoa', to tell a different kind of story using the landscape as visual evidence of custodianship and change, through a photographic essay. The collaboration is an ongoing one for Tom and I; we have been working together as writer and designer on private projects since 2009. This is our first public work.
Sadokierski, ZA 2012, 'Book Design: The Story from Back to Front'.
http://www.swf.org.au/component/option,com_events/Itemid,124/agid,2898/… A panel of winning Australian designers will present visually and in discussion, some of the creative issues and current demands of their craft. There will be more than a nod to the 60 consecutive years that the best in Australian book design has been recognised. The winning books from the 60th annual Australian Publishers Association's Book Design Awards held the previous night at the Powerhouse Museum will be on display. Melanie Feddersen, Stephen Banham and Hugh Ford talk to Zoe Sadokierski.
Sadokierski, ZA 2012, 'A Most Generous Act', Trunk Volume Two: Blood, Boccolatte, Sydney.
Trunk is a series of illustrated books, edited by Suzanne Boccolatte and UTS lecturer Meredith Jones. Boccolatte commissioned writer Rebecca Huntley and I to contribute an illustrated essay to the second book in the series, after the success of our 2009 collaboration, published in Trunk Volume 1. In commercial practice illustrators rarely work directly with an author. To collaborate with a writer from the start of a project rather than coming in at the end via a publisher is an unconventional practice. The initial research we conducted into historical cookbook design was led to the visual style we wanted (the essay is about cooking with human blood). Unfortunately, the editors didnt agree and our most interesting work didnt make the final book. Regardless, the value of the research project was the development of our collaborative practice, more than the final work. Working experimentally with writers to foster new kinds of literary collaboration is an ongoing part of my research practice, and relationships must develop slowly to establish trust in order for innovation to happen. Rebecca and I are currently planning our third collaboration, for the next Trunk book. This collaboration also led to a new collaboration with a colleague of Rebeccas, James Bradley, in early 2014. By publishing these collaborative experiments, I am gaining a profile in the literary community as an illustrator/designer working in new, or emerging publishing areas.
See word doc
Five wounds (2010, Allen & Unwin) is a noteworthy title within Australian publishing because illustrated fiction for adult readers is an emergent field. Visual writing/hybrid books was the focus of my doctoral research, and as an early career research in visual communication my focus has been directed towards actively seeking design projects to work on, and publishers to work with, who are prepared to engage in the development of this field. My contribution with this work was as designer and project manager. Author Jonathan Walker contacted me from workshops I ran for The Centre for New Writing (FASS, UTS) in late 2008. He had written the manuscript for Five Wounds and had begun collaborating with illustrator Dan Hallett, but could not find a publisher. I took the project to Senior Publisher Erica Wagner at Allen & Unwin - I had worked with Erica on several graphic novels previously. She agreed to publish Five Wounds if I agreed to design the book and project-manage the author-illustrator relationship and production of the book. From this point, the project took almost 18 months to complete. My contribution was the cover design, internal design and typesetting of the whole book, and management of the design production up until the book was printed. As a result of my contribution, I was invited to convene a panel at the 2010 Sydney Writers' Festival (23 May) with the author to discuss this work, as well as to speak at a two-day conference 'Drawing In, Drawing Out' at The Wheeler Centre (A Victorian Government initiative and the centrepiece of Melbourne's designation as a UNESCO City of Literature) about the future of illustrated fiction (23-24 April 2010). The book was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2010 Aurealis Awards (Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel).
'Visual writing' or 'hybrid books' is an emerging area of research within visual communication. Increasingly, both publishers and the book design community are recognizing that hybrid books are a powerful form of visually communicating content that traditionally has been presented as text-heavy. This project was a direct result of a public presentation about my doctoral research at the Sydney Writers' Festival (23 May 2010). The publisher, Colette Vella from Murdoch Books, approached me to design this book after seeing my presentation. Murdoch were looking for an innovative design approach for the presentation of an autobiography told through fashion. I worked closely with the publisher, editor and author to produce a 'hybrid book' - the design and illustrations are an integral part of the book as a whole. There are 32 original illustrations that pick up key themes or images from the writing, as well as an illustrated cover and French-fold dust jacket. I spent several days photographing the author's wardrobe and talking to her about the particulars of her outfits to communicate in an informed aesthetic way. I typeset the whole book to closely control the relationship between image and typography. This book won an Australian Publishers' Association award for the Best Design Non-Fiction book, 2010. Now in its 60th year, the APA Book Design Awards recognise excellence and innovation in Australian book design and are highly regarded by industry.
Single page illustration, in response to Rebecca Huntley's essay 'Serious Hair'.
Sadokierski, ZA 2007, 'The Great Gatsby', Designer, Published book.
In a 'graphic adaptation', an illustrator completely reinterprets an existing text, creating a distinctly different narrative, and a new reading experience. This kind of work is of interest to scholars of Visual Communication Design, but also in the emerging cross-disciplinary field of Visual Studies, where 'visual literacy' is a research focus. It is of relevance to my research into 'hybrid books', where word and image are integrated to create a verbal-visual narrative. This graphic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel by Nicki Greenberg was the first graphic novel published by a mainstream Australian publisher, indicating a shift in the way the publishing industry perceives illustrated work. My expertise around graphic novels, established through my doctoral research about hybrid books, led the publisher to commission me to work closely with the illustrator on the cover design and consult on the production of this book, in both the hardback and paperback editions. The project acted as a case study, proving that Australian artists and publishers are capable of producing a commercially successful work in this genre. The success of this book convinced the publisher to establish a list of graphic novels. As a consequence, I was invited to speak about the research behind and production process of this book at: the 2008 Children's Book Council of Australia conference; a seminar with visiting expert Lisa El Refaie (Cardiff University) at UTS in 2009; and the 'The Future of the Graphic Novel' panel at the Wheeler Centre's 'Drawing Out Drawing In' conference in 2010 (24 April).
Sadokierski, ZA 2006, 'The Red Shoe', Cover designer, text designer, illustrator., Published book.
The field of research that this professional design project is situated within is contemporary publication design. The specific focus of the project was the exploration of ways in which graphic devices can enhance or extend the experience of reading a text. Based on my work in this area, I was commissioned by the publishers, Allen & Unwin, to design the cover, the text design and illustrations. This design project presented opportunities where I could test strategies I had been developing in my research on the integration of graphic devices into novels. In particular, the two graphic devices that related to my research were: the illustrated prologue where delicate line drawings reference illustrations from classic fairy tales; and a series of pages designed like newspapers from the era. The juxtaposition of fairy tale style drawings and newspaper typography assist the reader to make a connection between the tale the book takes its name from - 'The Red Shoe', and the historical context in which the book is set - 1950s Australia. Testing out strategies through practice is a central part of my research methodology. 'Integrated graphic devices' is an emerging area within publication design. My design work on this book was recognised at the Australian Publishers' Association Design Awards, where it was a finalist for the Best Designed Young Adult Book in 2007.
END GAME is a collaboration between Zoë Sadokierski
and Todd McMillan through which they attempt to
understand apathy toward environmental issues.
'End Game Part 1: Possible Cost of Complacency' explored
nonchalance towards human-induced climate change. No
less ambitious or bleak, 'End Game Part 2: Sleep Well'
focuses on the escalating extinction rates of animal species,
Zoë and Todd inform and respond to each other's work
through ongoing conversations and shared readings. This
exhibition draws on ideas from Margaret Atwood's fictional
trilogy 'Maddaddam' and Yuval Noah Harari's non-fiction
book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
A bit of reading on a lazy Sunday is a favourite past time for many, which is why Zoë Sadokierski's exhibition Sundays will attract a few admirers.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Journey of an Ornate Sleeve', Fashioning New: Changing the way we make and use clothes, UTS Gallery.
Working in collaboration with fashion educator Alison Gwilt, I designed a graphic to be printed in collaboration with screen printer Steve Woods, and then embroidered by Helen Parsons. The research component of this project was tracing the manufacturing process of a haute couture item (the sleeve) through the various localised craftspeople. This work was part of the show Fashioning Now at the UTS Gallery during the annual Design Week festival, which explored ways that traditional fashion and textile craft skills contribute to the vitality of our culture.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Hand, writing', Hand, Writing: How to write a doctoral thesis roughly, DAB LAB, DAB LAB.
This exhibition responds to the question - what does a design PhD look like? - by displaying ephemeral documents produced in the planning and writing stages of my doctoral thesis, and explaining some practice-led research methods I use to analyse written texts. The exhibition emphasises the importance of thinking through writing in the research process: it is a visual description of the raw process needed to translate complex ideas from head, through hand, to page. Attached room-sheet provides thorough descriptions of exhibits, including: 83 handwritten mind-maps, folded and hung as bird mobiles; 328 post-it notes, digitally printed as posters; word-clouds cut from draft notebooks; five drafts of a chapter, hung as folded chains; drawings of all the writing tools in my studio; a copy of the final thesis with handwritten pages flagged. Design research is a relatively new academic discipline; PhDs in design are newer still, with scarce exemplars for postgraduate students. By exposing the process I undertook to successfully complete a doctoral design degree in just over 3 years, I contribute a resource for current and future postgraduate design students and supervisors. This exhibition also argues that writing by hand is a valuable tool for design students and practitioners of all levels. The exhibition progresses research initiated through my doctoral thesis, extending my research output about Visual Writing, reflective practice, and practice-led research methods. It is a 'case-study' to better illustrate my argument that these topics are timely and relevant for scholarly research.
The exhibition was part of Sydney Design 2011, an annual two-week festival produced by the Powerhouse Museum and sixty other cultural institutions. The festival aims to foster meaningful dialogue around design issues. The work in this exhibition is part of my ongoing research around visually communicating the creative process. The exhibition reflects on the ways practitioners work in the early stages of the creative process through the exploration of the relationships that famous writers have with their typewriters. Of all creative practitioners, writers - with their verbal communication skills - are best suited to articulating this rough and usually private process. I studied the practices of forty-five writers, and chose three 'case studies' to research in more depth. This research is visualised as a series of 45 illustrations, collections of large format posters (stencil and offset printed) and 2 artist books (see images). Supplementing the research, two workshops were held at the gallery during the exhibition period - one open to the public, the other by invitation. Participants reflected on the materiality of the writing process by typing on manual and electronic typewriters, as well as writing with other tools (various pens, pencils, brushes and quills). Participants provided written feedback and reflections, which I will incorporate into future research in this area. The research visualised through this exhibition expands on the research presented in my doctoral thesis (2010) and a previous exhibition, 'Hand, Writing' (DAB LAB, 2011) into the way creative practitioners work. The UTS library purchased an artist book and my process book for their permanent collection.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Eugene's Fetish; Sundays (books 1, 2, 3)', Print/Stitch/Staple: A curated exhibition of artist books and zines, Gallery Lane Cove.
`Print Stitch Staple: A curated exhibition of artist books and zines was an exhibition of limited edition publications by international book artists, held at Gallery Lane Cove in September 2012. Two of my works were selected for the exhibition. The first, a self-published artist book called 'Eugene's Fetish', has not been previously exhibited, but has been sold in independent bookshops Better Read Than Dead (Newtown) and Published Art (Surry Hills) since 2003. The second, a hand-bound limited edition book (edition of 3) called 'Sundays' was produced as an extension of a research project I conducted as part of my doctoral research in 2008. Early iterations of this project were exhibited in the DAB LAB gallery in 2008, also titled 'Sundays'. Through these books, I investigate ways a designer can explore/expand/extend a reader's experience of a written text, using graphic devices such as experimental typography, illustrative elements and photographs. This exploration is central to my ongoing research into the role of the designer as a mediator between an author and a reader. These artist books are a form through which I test my ideas in practice. From this exhibition, I was approached by Charlotte Rivers to include two of my artist books in her book `The Little Book of Books to be published by Rotovision in 2014. She ultimately selected two more current books to include, but discovered me through this exhibition.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Books on Demand', Books On Demand, Page Screen Publications, Carlton Project Space.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'The Book of Days', Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney.
The Book of Days is a publishing experiment. During the Sydney Writers' Festival I produced an illustrated SWF anthology live, inviting festival attendees to watch the book design process in action. Each day from 10am – 5pm I was at a workstation set up outside the Pier 2/3 Main Stage, designing the book, working with collaborators and managing the production process.
The anthology includes writing and illustration commissioned from festival presenters: Helen Macdonald, Emily St John Mandel, Robert Dessaix, Rebecca Huntley, Robert Adamson and Juno Gemes, Dennis Altman, James Boyce, John Pickrell, Omar Musa, Les Murray, Leigh Rigozzi, Tom Uglow, Lee Kofman, and W.H. Chong to name a few.
In addition, festival attendees contributed their own thoughts on the theme How to live? via Twitter (using #SWFBOD) or typewriter (at the Pier 2/3 workstation). These contributions – 4,000 words of them – are included in the final book.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'The Library Box', The Library Book, DAB LAB Gallery.
The work presented in this exhibition is part of an ongoing conversation between media artist/scholar Chris Caines and I, about the difference between the materiality of our practice (he in video, me in print). The collaboration involves 're-mediating' each other's work. The first iteration of our collaboration was in 2012, as part of my `Public Life of Monkeys exhibition: Chris animated a series of my still photographs, I then deconstructed his animation and turned it into a flip-book. From print to digital, from digital back to print. In this current project, I extracted Chris' written texts from his video works and transformed them into printed objects (a set of 3 books), and also created a set of cut paper `characters for him to project videos on. To `illustrate the written texts, I collaged images sourced from the public domain (the copyright has lapsed). The potential for designers to repurpose images in the public domain is an ongoing research area, particularly in commercial design work. The exhibition gave me a context in which to start using public domain images in my design work, and a forum to begin discussing the implications of this with other practitioners. My final work was: a box containing 3 illustrated books, and the prototype mock-ups I created as part of my design process, and a mini-projection work in collaboration with Chris I created two cut-paper characters (like flat puppets) for him to project his written text (a conversation between two people) onto.
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Writers' Typewriters Suite', Multiples, Brenda May Gallery, 2 Danks Street Waterloo NSW Australia 2017.
Exhibition blurb: "An exhibition of prints, books, photographs and sculptural objects. The ideology behind the artist's multiple is born out of the anti-art movement, fuelled by Dadaism, Fluxus, Conceptual Art and Pop Art. Creating artist's multiples, typically in short runs, allows artworks to be accessible to a larger portion of the population via the employment of economical materials and processes. Also, by making reproducible artwork, the sacredness of the object itself decreases, allowing for the concept behind the work to take precedence and for these concepts to reflect the interests of their audience: the general public."
Sadokierski, ZA, 'Twenty-six Views from the 7 Train; Seventeen Views from the Trans-Mongolian', Hell Broth, Firstdraft.
These two concertina photobooks are made in homage to L.A. based photographer/artist Edward Ruscha. While researching artist's books in the Museum of Modern Art archive (NYC) I became fascinated by how many artists produce homage or tribute works in response to Ruscha's work. In 2013, MIT press published Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha. The book collates ninety-one projects by artists who have appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha's books, and includes an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes. Included are projects in which artists re-photograph Ruscha's work – such as Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Later (Susan Porteous 2007) – or riff off his conceptual and formal template – Various Unbaked Cookies and Milk (Marcella Hackbardt 2010). These two concertinas are made in response to Ruscha's 1962 book Twentysix Gasoline Stations. They are visual lists of banal urban landscapes.
Sadokierski, Z, 'Various artist's books', Pagination: The book as object, The University Gallery, The University of Newcastle.
The work of local, national and international makers concerned with the book as a creative medium have been invited to exhibit in Pagination, an exhibition that investigates the medium and meaning of the book, and more broadly of book arts as a contemporary mode of expression.
Works represented in the exhibition range from sculptural book objects, altered books, and editioned letterpress works – to designed books, comics, digitally printed works, student zines and print on demand publications.
Despite the many different precedents, genres, themes, structures and production methods present in the work, these artists share common concerns for the page and participation.
The participatory and physical act of paging through a book is a familiar one. Whether the content is visual, textual or hybrid, these works invite a process of moving though the work that generates patterns of recognition, sequence, juxtaposition, repetition and engagement. This haptic and material interplay continues as a relevant and important characteristic of the book – as object and as an idea.
Pagination presents these properties as traits of a unique medium, and celebrates the book as a significant site of human interaction and subjectivity, where artists, authors, designers, makers, readers and audiences can engage with the visual language of the page.
The Durational Book Group is comprised of media artists Chris Caines and Megan Heyward, design researchers Zoë Sadokierski and Jacqueline Kasunic, and poet/essayist Astrid Lorange. While all five have well recognised individual practices, they are linked by an appreciation of the fertile interplay between forms and technologies, in particular that between text and graphic, audiovisual, networked and sculptural forms. The group was formed to explore the intersections and extensions afforded by interdisciplinary collaborative practice. During ISEA2013 (International Symposium for Electronic Art) the first iteration of the Durational Book project expanded the historical idea of the book to include forms of contemporary media: print media was mixed with audio-visual and interactive content. The group worked from the State Library of NSW's archive to generation of a variety of speculative works, investigating the library as a creative tool. During the week-long event, the artists added daily to a new archive of analogue and digital material, text, illustration, video and sound. This material will eventually form the content of an expanded `book'.
A collaborative research project, investigating how visual communication designers approach data mining and poetic information visualisation, the work was published through a series of exhibitions and public events over a two-year period. Invited to speak about this work at the Art Gallery of NSW Learning Symposium (15 March, 2014). Led to invitation to write a book chapter on practice-led methods for analysing written texts.
Around the world, people are taking action to redress gender imbalance and we need you. Did you know that less than 10% of Wikipedia editors are female? This bias is reflected in the lack of articles about notable women, including designers. Help us redress the balance, share your knowledge and get editing with like-minded researchers, advocates and lovers of design. This day of social Wikipedia editing will include guest designers and thinkers Zoe Sadokierski, Cathy Lockhart and Olivia Hyde to contribute to the collective brains-trust on the day.
Steffen, W & Tonkinwise, C, 'Rethinking Design and Planning for the Anthropocene Transition'.
A Cross-disciplinary dialogue with acclaimed System scientist Will Steffen.